Ford Freestyle Long Term Review
The Freestyle is a very value-for-money car and is quite involving to drive too
The Ford Freestyle has been a rebel +1 to the MotorBeam’s long term fleet for a couple of months now and has been my loyal daily commuter. Now my commute is one of the easiest, takes barely 20 minutes one side. That said, since the Freestyle has been under my wing, I’ve been guilty of taking the scenic route via the Palm Beach Road often. Who knew that burning an overpriced litre of petrol would be the most joyous time of my day and I have Ford to thank for it.
The Freestyle gets Ford's new 1.2-litre 3-cylinder engine that is part of its Dragon series of engines. The engine offers 96 PS and 120 Nm, and Ford claims the power output is the highest for a 1.2-litre NA petrol engine in India. The motor is slightly laid back when it comes to building revs but rev it hard and it delivers a good punch. The Freestyle also debuts Ford's new 5-speed manual transmission. Its ratios help in enhancing the bottom-end grunt and the engine and gearbox are tuned more for city driving.
The sporty yet comfortable driving position coupled with superb dynamics make the Freestyle very fun to drive
The suspension is a hit as well. It imparts a very confident feel even when driving enthusiastically, be it on smooth terrains or uneven asphalt. The wider track benefits handling as well by adding to the planted feel. Typical to Ford’s style, the steering is very communicative. Add to it the soft, comfortable seats and the Freestyle imparts what I feel is one of the best driving positions ever, at least for me. Never for a second do you doubt that its a driver’s car, but having said that, it never compromises with passenger comfort.
Apart from the way it drives, another thing that I loved the most about the Freestyle was its SYNC3 touchscreen infotainment system. It’s slick, fast, never forgets to connect my phone when I sit in the car and fills the cabin well enough to host a private gig. I have loved being in the driver’s seat of this car day in and day out. Be it traffic or fatigue, I never gave up the chance to manoeuvre this kid and I’m for sure going to miss that. The styling impressed me a lot too, the light gold shade of my long-termer, seemed to do justice to its design and its sporty character.
Ford claims its spare parts cost up to 20% lesser than those of similarly priced hatchbacks, and also that the Freestyle's service interval is the highest in class at 10,000 kms. Not that I felt the need to take it to the shop, from a buyer’s perspective, it is good to have some doubts out of the park.
* Punchy performing petrol engine
* Excellent dynamics and driving position
* Responsive and intuitive infotainment system
* Low maintenance costs
What's Not So Cool
* Fuel efficiency goes down if you drive spiritedly
* Rear seat space could have been better
Further Reading -
Ford Freestyle Long Term Review – First Report
2018 Ford Freestyle Review
2018 Ford Freestyle Video Review
Ford Freestyle Pros & Cons [Video]
Ford Freestyle vs Honda WR-V – Shootout
Ford Freestyle vs Honda WR-V – Video Comparison